Navigating the boating season
by Chrissy Plant
Apr 29, 2013 | 964 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Spring yields to Summer temperatures, people start thinking about boating more frequently. Whether you have already wet your prop or are just now dusting off the seats, the following tips will help you have a safe and enjoyable boating experience:

•Double check that your boat registration and fishing license are current.

•Make sure your life jacket foam is still good quality or confirm the ability of the PFD to self inflate.

•Check your boat for the required water safety equipment.

•Consider annual maintenance such as replacing fuel filters, changing lower unit oil and packing trailer bearings.

•Charge your battery.

The complete water safety regulations are available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website by clicking Boating on the top black banner. These regulations include necessary safety equipment and operation rules, such as the 50’ rule for jet skis. Also on the boating page is a link to the boater education course. Anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1993, is required to pass a boater education course prior to operating a vessel over 15 horsepower, a wind-blown vessel over 14 feet and all person watercraft (jet ski). A one-time, 15-day boater education deferral is available for $10 anywhere TPWD licenses are sold. Regarding alcohol, it is not illegal to have an open container on the boat or even to drink and operate a boat. It is illegal to operate a motorized boat while intoxicated. Those in law enforcement and medical emergency services strongly encourage the use of designated drivers for both the boat and the vehicle towing it home. Before you pop a top, decide if an afternoon of “feeling good” is worth a lifetime of regret. Instead, enjoy a relaxing day of good company and good memories of why life’s better outside.
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